9-25-JMBleicher

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Monday, September 25


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Fear of tendentiousness? – a form of bias. Biased toward openness? Openness equals openness toward points of view. Balance requires mix of openness and closure. It is a thesis of the class that the engines of for profit production have to been engaged in the protection of closed spaces to the neglect of open spaces. Also, it is unquestionably a premise of Linux as operating system, Apache as webserver, and creative commons that open spaces can be location of creative activity. “Not going along to protect professor from accusation that we had no choice.”

Fear of incoherence? Understand logic of the game from scratch. Power of changing point of view, the basic lawyers skill, and the key lesson of today’s class. Think Riddle of the Red Hat – importance of figuring things out (about yourself) by changing point of view. How does Scratch relate to changing your point of view? Code used to structure various parts of our world; constraints of code are therefore constraints on what we can do. Nesson asks us to have faith in the coherence of the class – we are not working with a fixed object but a cone, starting from one point, and growing to include many others.


Empathic Advocacy

Empathic advocacy as contrasted with oppositional argument. Bush, Chavez, Chomsky, Dershowitz. Empathic advocacy starts with an interpretive stance. Recursive process of sending out stimuli, receiving back stimuli, processing them, and sending out more stimuli.

Daniel Gilbert’s piece – as a psychologist explores what disputes consist of. Uses example of traveling in backseat of parents car with his brother. He and brother got in fights that required parents intervention. The argument ran: “he hit me,” “he hit me first,” “but he hit me harder.” Gilbert says that we are very aware of what provoked us and what we did in response and less good at remembering what happened after they act. Gilbert experiment: two people are asked to give one another exactly what shock they were given – what happens is that each underestimates force of shock that they are giving and overestimate force of shock that’s coming to them – Gilbert therefore concludes that our “reasons and pains” are more real than the “reasons and pains” of others – this leads to escalation of mutual harm, and the illusion that we act more justifiably than others – we use different grids for ourselves than we use to judge others. At that point, phenomenon of cognitive dissonance sets in: When you hear new input, you will interpret it to be consistent with your structure. Our “brains function to rationalize our feelings; feelings come first.” When you experience a stimulus, you immediately have a sense of whether this is offense or defense.

Rodney King. OJ Simpson. TO what degree are we capable of switiching our points of view about cases like these? What does it feel like to change your point of view about it? Changing your point of view is at least in part an emotional experience. You can only persuade someone if you persuade them that you understand what the world looks like from the viewpoint they already have.

Rodney King Video -